Sweden's Volvo AB will jointly develop trucks with Japan's Mitsubishi, according to the Tokyo-based Sankei newspaper — a move some believe could mean an acquisition is in the works.
The partnership would include the marketing and the sale of medium duty trucks, the newspaper quoted a Mitsubishi executive as saying. There has been no official announcement by either company.
Mitsubishi and Volvo have been conducting a feasibility study on cooperation in medium-sized trucks since the fall of 1997. The two companies also have marketing ties. Mitsubishi sells Canter trucks through Volvo's sales network in Europe.
The report gave no indication that vehicles would be developed for North America, where Volvo has not sold a medium duty truck for several years.
However, Volvo Trucks North America president Marc Gustafson, who leads Volvo AB's global marketing efforts, indicated last month that the company was strongly considering bringing a medium duty vehicle to the United States and Canada again.
Volvo, the world's second largest truck maker, has been looking for acquisition partners since selling its car business to Ford for $6.5 billion. Volvo reportedly has also explored the purchase of Chicago-based Navistar International.